ITcon Vol. 26, pg. 84-111, http://www.itcon.org/2021/6

Trends, benefits, and barriers of unmanned aerial systems in the construction industry: a survey study in the United States

DOI:10.36680/j.itcon.2021.006
submitted:September 2020
revised:January 2021
published:March 2021
editor(s):Amor R
authors:Gilles Albeaino, PhD Student,
Rinker School of Construction Management, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA;
galbeaino@ufl.edu

Masoud Gheisari, Assistant Professor,
Rinker School of Construction Management, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA;
masoud@ufl.edu
summary:Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs) have rapidly been integrated into the construction industry over the past few years, and their application is continually growing in this domain. The recent development in UAS regulations and technical capabilities have played a significant role in their popularity and wide deployment in various stages of the construction lifecycle. UASs could be used as a platform to enhance the construction practices in general; however, little is known about how construction professionals are adopting this technology in specific construction practices and the barriers they are facing for their successful implementation. The purpose of this study is to explore the current state-of-practice of UAS integration in construction from the industry professionals’ viewpoint. A comprehensive survey study was conducted in the United States to identify the practical construction UAS application areas, their adopted technologies, as well as the benefits and barriers encountered during their implementation. Responses (n=56) showed that most common UAS applications include progress monitoring, site planning, and site surveying/mapping. Rotary-wing vehicles and visual and thermal cameras were the most used platforms and onboard sensors, respectively. Saving time, improving accessibility to compromised spaces, and reducing cost while accomplishing construction tasks were highly regarded as UAS implementation benefits in construction. Participants also considered flying in various weather conditions, within confined or congested areas, as well as the advanced technical know-how requirements, and the increased liability and legal challenges as barriers to using UASs in construction-related tasks. By understanding UAS adoption in construction, this study provides a roadmap to better identify the industry needs and guide researchers and professionals in investigating application areas and barriers that might have maximum benefits for the construction industry in the United States.
keywords:UAS, Unmanned Aerial Systems, Construction, Applications, Trends, Technologies, UAV, Drone
full text: (PDF file, 0.56 MB)
citation:Albeaino G, Gheisari M (2021). Trends, benefits, and barriers of unmanned aerial systems in the construction industry: a survey study in the United States, ITcon Vol. 26, pg. 84-111, https://doi.org/10.36680/j.itcon.2021.006